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What Can Scammers Do With Your Social Security Number

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Ways An Identity Thief Can Use Your Social Security Number

Scam alert: Your social security number isn’t suspended

Having your Social Security number or card stolen isnt quite like getting your bank account information taken though granted, both are stressful experiences. The major difference is that you can get a new bank account number, while the Social Security Administration very rarely issues new Social Security numbers.

What Should You Do If You Think Your Social Security Number Has Been Stolen

If you think your SSN has been stolen, you should immediately reach out to your banks, credit card companies and other financial services providers to let them know. Youll also want to inform the three main credit bureaus. Its a good idea to file a police report to have an official record, and make sure to check the FTCs official recommendations, which list who to notify and how.

Having your identity stolen can wreak havoc on your personal and financial life, but being as careful as possible with your SSN can help protect you. If you do find yourself the victim of identity theft or fraud, you may need to seek help from a or legal counsel.

Reviewed by Anna Grozdanov, Associate Attorney at Lexington Law Firm. by Lexington Law.

Note: Articles have only been reviewed by the indicated attorney, not written by them. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, act as legal, financial or credit advice instead, it is for general informational purposes only. Use of, and access to, this website or any of the links or resources contained within the site do not create an attorney-client or fiduciary relationship between the reader, user, or browser and website owner, authors, reviewers, contributors, contributing firms, or their respective agents or employers.

Contact The Federal Trade Commission

Upon knowledge of theft, loss, or misuse of your social security number, you can file an identity theft report at the Federal Trade Commission . This report can help prevent future fraud that the thief may commit.

If someone has already used your SSN for fraudulent purposes, call the Social Security Fraud Hotline at 269-0271.

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What Should I Do If My Ssn Has Been Stolen Or Being Used Without My Consent

Identity theft is alarming, especially that it can happen with just the last 4 digits of SSN and DOB. Now, your next question could be, how do you put an alert on your social security number that has been stolen?

When you receive suspicious notices, alerts, billings, or notice peculiar happenings, you need to do the following immediately:

Tip : Create Strong Passwords

What Can A Scammer Do With the Last 4 Digits of Your ...

Strong passwords that use a unique combination of numbers, letters, and symbols can help prevent identity thieves from accessing your personal information in online accounts. Heres one password you should never use: your Social Security number. And dont use your SSNs last four digits as a PIN.

Finally, dont use the same passwords repeatedly. Even if its a strong password, and its one that you can easily remember, all a hacker has to do is crack that password once. The thief will then be able to access all your important accounts that are protected by that password, even ones that contain your Social Security number.

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Social Security Combats Fraud

Social Security has zero tolerance for fraud. We diligently work at the national, regional, and local level to combat fraud that undermines our mission to serve the American public.

To meet this challenge, we work closely with the OIG who investigates allegations of fraud and seek to bring offenders to justice. They refer cases to U.S. attorneys within the Department of Justice, among other state and local prosecuting authorities, for prosecution as a federal crime.

Visit our OIGs Investigations page to view a list of recent fraud investigations.

Commit Crimes Using Your Name

Dont have a criminal history? Well, you could end up with one if a real criminal gives your social security number to the police. If they have your SSN, they could falsely assume your identity so the police dont find out about their past crimes. Having a crime appear on your background check could impact your chances at getting a job and purchasing a home.

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Open A Financial Account In Your Name

The bank needs your Social Security number to extend your credit or when you are opening an account. If a thief handles your SSN, they can obtain create a bank account in your name to obtain loans and many more.

Sadly, you are liable for the property damages since the bank cannot tell if you are sincere. You have to repay the debt, which could also damage your credit when you miss the payments. Your SSN is linked to the debts, so you will see them on your credit report.

Bad credit history can stop you from applying for loans or even a new account in the future.

Measures You Can Take To Prevent Identity Theft

Social Security scam calls 2019: Can your social security number get suspended?
  • Do not routinely carry your SSN.
  • Never say your SSN aloud in public.
  • Beware of phishing scams to trick you into revealing personal information.
  • Create a personal account to help you keep track of your records and identify any suspicious activity.
  • Consider adding these blocks to your account with us:
  • The eServices block It prevents anyone, including you, from seeing or changing your personal information on the internet. Once we add the block, you or your representative will need to contact your local office to request removal of the block.
  • The Direct Deposit Fraud Prevention block This prevents anyone, including you, from enrolling in direct deposit or changing your address or direct deposit information through or a financial institution . Once we add the block, you or your representative will need to contact your local office to request removal of the block or make any future changes to direct deposit or contact information.
  • Visit to get information regarding extra security.
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    How To Report Fraud

    Do you suspect someone of committing fraud, waste, or abuse against Social Security? You can contact the OIGs fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271 or submit a report online at .

    If you receive a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from our agency, hang up, and then report details of the call to the OIG at .

    Our investigations are most successful when you provide as much information as possible about the alleged suspect and/or victim involved. The more you can tell us, the better chance we have of determining whether a crime has been committed. As you fill out a fraud allegation, please include the following about the alleged suspect and/or victim:

    • Names.

    Its helpful to know facts about the alleged fraud, such as:

    • Description of the fraud.
    • Location where the fraud took place.
    • When the fraud took place.
    • How the fraud was committed.
    • Why the person committed the fraud .
    • Who else has knowledge of the potential violation?

    OIG will carefully review your allegation and take appropriate action. However, they cannot provide information regarding the actions taken on any reported allegation. Federal regulations prohibit the disclosure of information contained in law enforcement records, even to the individual making the allegation.

    How Social Security Number Theft Occurs

    How someone finds out and steals your identity can happen in a variety of ways. They could gain your Social Security number by exploiting data breaches, sifting through the trash for personal documents, or using any number of other approaches. The thieves can then sell your identity to the highest bidder on the dark web.

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    Applying For A New Number Or Replacement Card

    The SSA may assign a new Social Security number to you if you are being harassed, abused, or are in grave danger when using the original number, or if you can prove that someone has stolen your number and is using it. You must provide evidence that the number is being misused, and that the misuse is causing you significant continuing harm.

    If you apply for a new Social Security number, you must prove

    • your age
    • your citizenship or lawful immigration status
    • your identity

    Getting a new Social Security number probably wont resolve all the problems related to the theft of your identity. Government agencies and some businesses may keep records under your original Social Security number. In addition, because credit reporting companies use Social Security numbers and other personal information to identify a persons credit file, using a new number doesnt guarantee a fresh start. But by being careful with your personal information and monitoring credit reports for fraudulent activity, you can limit the misuse.

    The SSA lets you apply for an original Social Security number or a replacement Social Security card for free. The application form and information about the supporting documents you need to apply are available online. The form takes just a few minutes to complete. But that hasnt stopped some websites from claiming that the process is complicated, confusing, and time-consuming, and offering to do it for you for a fee.

    Get The Best Identity Theft Protection Today

    Scam Alert: Fake Call From Social Security Scam, Beware ...

    If you think youve been victimized after experiencing a lost or stolen Social Security card, or your Social Security number has been exposed by a data breach, we can help you take the steps to protect what matters most. IdentityForce can help monitor your identity and credit while providing you with the latest news and information in identity theft protection. Our Smart SSN Tracker alerts you if an unfamiliar name, alias, or address is associated with your SSN, and our experts will be there to assist you every step of the way. IdentityForces Identity Vault provides online encrypted storage for your important personally identifiable information including SSNs, credit cards, financial account information, and birth dates, along with other important documents. It also provides access to online and mobile digital organization and storage of digital copies of important legal and personal documents, medical records, and other items.

    Weve built best-in-class, innovative capabilities that continue to be named the best identity theft protection service throughout our industry. Additionally, our IdentityForce members receive full, white-glove restoration services to reduce the damaging effects of all types of fraud, theft, misuse, and unintended exposure of personal and financial data.

    Let us show you how IdentityForce can help you manage through a compromised Social Security number incident. .

    **Originally published July 11, 2017. Updated April 14, 2021.**

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    Leave Your Social Security Card In A Secure Place At Home

    Never bring your card with you all the time, everywhere. If you need to present valid IDs, dont use your social security card.

    When you do daily tasks, you dont need your social security card with you all the time. Leave it at home instead, and keep it in a secure place.

    So in case someone stole your wallet, your SSN cannot be used for malicious acts.

    How To Prevent It

    • Do not trust caller ID. Scam calls may show up on caller ID as the Social Security Administration and look like the agencys real number.
    • Do not give the caller your Social Security number or any other personal information. If you already provided personal information to a caller, this is probably identity theft. Take steps to protect your credit and identity by going to
    • Check with the real Social Security Administration. The SSA sill not contact you out of the blue. You can call them directly at 1-800-772-1213 to find out if the SSA is really trying to reach you and why.
    • Talk about it with friends to prevent fraud. Many people get caught off guard by these calls. Share your experience with friends and family this will help others avoid this scam.

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    What Do I Do If My Social Security Card Or Number Is Stolen Or Lost

    If your Social Security card or number is lost or stolen, you should immediately contact your local police department and the Social Security Administration to let them know about the incident. Once youve done that, there are a few other things that you can do to help mitigate the risks involved with losing your Social Security card.

    How Can You Prevent Identity Theft

    Scam alert: your social security number is not suspended

    While you cant prevent a big data breach or ever fully protect yourself against identity theft, there are some measures you can take to make yourself less vulnerable. Here are some quick tips:

    • Make sure you have a strong password that has many characters and has no personally identifiable information or dictionary words.
    • When youre online, make sure the sites you visit are secure. The URL will usually have a lock in the left-hand corner and start with https.
    • Enable two-factor authentication, so youll need to enter a code from your phone to access your accounts.
    • Check your financial transactions often, and keep tabs on your credit reports to look for any changes.

    With the ID monitoring feature, you can use your email address to search for any accounts that are in any public data breaches. If your information has been exposed in a breach, well let you know some tips and tools to help you take the right next steps.

    Well also continue to monitor your credit for free.

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    What Damage Can Someone Do With Your Phone Number

    If someone steals your phone number, they become you for all intents and purposes. With your phone number, a hacker can start hijacking your accounts one by one by having a password reset sent to your phone. They can trick automated systems like your bank into thinking theyre you when you call customer service.

    Can Someone Access My Bank Account With My Social Security Number

    Having your Social Security number is an essential piece of personal information. The Social Security Administration uses your nine-digit number to identify and track your wages. You can get Social Security benefits in your retirement years if your SSN is linked to your earnings.

    Your Social Security number can be used to impersonate you if someone has access to it. Some of the time, this can provide them access to your bank account. Fortunately, thieves frequently require more than just your Social Security number to gain access to your bank account.

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    How Can I Find Out If Someone Opened An Account In My Name

    The best way to find out if someone has opened an account in your name is to pull your own credit reports to check. Note that you’ll need to pull your credit reports from all three bureausExperian, Equifax and TransUnionto check for fraud since each report may have different information and reporting.

    How To Protect Your Ssn From Social Security Scams And Identity Theft

    Social Security scam calls 2019: Can your social security ...

    Preventing identity theft is always better than picking up the pieces after youve been targeted. While you cant always know if your SSN has been compromised until malicious activity occurs, you can take steps to keep your SSN safe before it gets into the wrong hands. In this section, were going to look at a few of the most important steps you can take to prevent SSN scams.

  • Get Your Information Off People-Search SitesOne of the easiest ways for identity thieves to access your Social Security number is by searching for you on people-search sites. While theres no guarantee that theyll be able to find your SSN, there is plenty of other highly sensitive information that people-search engines expose. Cybercriminals can access this information by getting your background report from these websites. This information can be used to access other accounts or to create a convincing scam to obtain your SSN.

    When these public records are published by people-search sites, you become vulnerable to cybercriminals from across the world. To avoid SSN fraud, Its important to minimize how exposed this personal information is. This requires removing your unauthorized profile from people-search sites. This opt-out process can be completed manually, which involves requesting opt out of every site that shares your profile, or automatically with OneReps privacy protection tool.

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    How Do I Lock My Ssn

    • In order to protect your financial and personal data, use strong passwords and two-step verification on any sites and apps that contain personal information.
    • Your Social Security Number should not be shared over the phone or through unprotected networks. Prior to submitting sensitive information, check the URL for https:// .
    • Dont merely toss away paperwork with personal information on it shred it instead.
    • Use secure Wi-Fi networks and be wary of responding to emails requesting personal information.
    • Its important to check your credit report every year to make sure its accurate. If you discover an error, please notify us immediately.
    • Finally, if you dont plan to take out loans or seek for new employment within the next few months, freezing your Social Security number is a good idea.

    Visit the myE-Verify website of the U.S. government and perform the necessary steps online to secure your Social Security number. Katie Gampietro Burke, CFP and founder of Wealth by Empowerment, states Youll need to enter your personal info, take a quiz, enter document data, and then obtain your results. A one-year subscription to the Self Lock service is free, and members will be notified 30 days in advance of its expiration date so they can renew. Instructions to unlock your phone number are also available on the internet.

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